You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though we may recommend more frequent visits. However, if you have no teeth, we still want to see you once a year to check on the health of your gums and surrounding tissue.
Regular dental exams and cleaning visits are essential in preventing dental problems and maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. At these visits, your teeth are cleaned and checked for cavities. Additionally, there are many other things that are checked and monitored to help detect, prevent, and maintain your dental health. These include:
-Medical history review-
Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
-Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs)-Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss, X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
-Oral cancer screening-
Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
-Gum disease evaluation-
Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
-Examination of tooth decay-
All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
-Examination of existing restorations-
Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
-Removal of calculus (tartar)-
Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line, and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
-Removal of plaque-
Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
Removes stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
-Oral hygiene recommendations-
Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
-Review dietary habits-
Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health. Various substances such as sugar, pop, carbonated beverages, gum, antacids, and breath mints (those with sucrose and fructose) may cause tooth decay. The combination of soda pop and potato chips is especially damaging to tooth enamel at the gumline.
Another little know fact about our diets is the erosive nature of sports drinks. The citric acid in them is not buffered well by our saliva which leads to softening and erosion of the enamel.
As you can see, a good dental exam and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth. We are committed to providing you with the best possible care, and to do so will require regular check-ups and cleanings. We are committed to achieving and maintaining your optimal dental health for your lifetime.